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  • *JetBlue to ink pact to continue the service after the sale. *JetBlue shares rise 2.9 pct before the bell. March 13- JetBlue Airways Corp said it would sell its in-flight entertainment business, LiveTV, to French defense company Thales Group for $400 million as it looks to cut costs.

  • Secretive Chinese funds: a potent force in copper rout Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 8:15 AM ET

    HONG KONG/ SHANGHAI/ SYDNEY, March 13- Chinese funds taking massive short positions played a powerful role in copper's slide to around four-year lows this week, signalling the growing force of the sector in global commodities markets.

  • SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, March 13- A Ukraine state gas company Chornomornaftogaz official said its rigs off Crimea were not occupied by armed men, after a regional separatist leader said on Thursday that local authorities were guarding the facilities.

  • LONDON, March 13- European metal products manufacturers are seeing the most favourable conditions for buying copper in over two years as prices drop and the euro strengthens, and some are buying forwards to lock in cheap supply.

  • Europe shares pause after sell-off; UK retailers sag Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 8:13 AM ET

    PARIS, March 13- European stocks were steady on Thursday, halting their two-week slide, although a sell-off among UK retailers after a profit warning by Morrison's kept investors on edge. Worries over China's pace of economic growth as well as tensions in Ukraine also weighed on sentiment.

  • Dollar General follows Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp, Kohl's Corp and other retailers catering to lower-income shoppers in reporting weaker-than-expected sales for what analysts have called a particularly competitive holiday season.

  • March 13- Venaxis Inc said its appendicitis test correctly predicted results in 97 percent of patients in a clinical trial, sending its shares up 25 percent in premarket trade. The company said it expected to finalize its marketing application and submit it to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the next few weeks.

  • *Rupiah has been emerging Asia's best currency in 2014. JAKARTA, March 13- Indonesia's central bank left its key reference rate steady at 7.50 percent on Thursday, as widely expected, as inflation is manageable and the rupiah has strengthened significantly this year.

  • *Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters. Synchrony Financial filed a $100 million placeholder with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday and GE said it expects to complete the IPO later this year. Goldman Sachs& Co, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters for the IPO, according to the filing.

  • *Ukraine tensions continue, Merkel warns Russia. NEW YORK, March 13- U.S. stock index futures advanced modestly on Thursday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second day of gains, ahead of data on the labor market and consumer spending. *Advances were held in check by another round of limp data out of China, the world's second-biggest economy.

  • March 13- China- based Hanwha SolarOne Co Ltd said it expects solar panel shipments to rise this year due to robust demand from Japan, its largest market, and China. The company posted a much smaller loss and steep a jump in sales in the fourth quarter, underlining a steady recovery in the sector as Japan subsidizes solar power and China boosts generation.

  • *Malaysian officials deny Wall Street Journal report. KUALA LUMPUR/ HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, March 13- M alaysian authorities said on Thursday there was no evidence that a jetliner missing for almost six days flew for hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers and continued to transmit technical data.

  • *Malaysian officials deny Wall Street Journal report. KUALA LUMPUR/ HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, March 13- M alaysian authorities said on Thursday there was no evidence that a jetliner missing for almost six days flew for hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers and continued to transmit technical data.

  • TOKYO, March 13- Chinese trader COFCO Corp's move to grab control of two overseas grains operations in the space of a week threatens to limit the benefits Japan's Marubeni Corp hoped to reap in the world's largest food market. The advantage of that firepower could be curbed as China develops its own global agriculture trading house.

  • March 13- Canadian tour operator Transat AT Inc reported a bigger quarterly loss as a weak Canadian dollar pushed up operating expenses. Net loss widened to C $25.6 million, or 60 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter ended Jan. 31, from C $15.1 million, or 56 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.2 percent to C $847.2 million.

  • Thales to buy JetBlue's LiveTV unit for $400 mln Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 7:18 AM ET

    PARIS, March 13- France's Thales said it agreed on Thursday to buy U.S. carrier JetBlue Airways' LiveTV unit for $400 million to strengthen its position in the high-growth in-flight entertainment business. Europe's largest defence electronics company said it expected to complete the purchase in mid-2014 after gaining regulatory approvals.

  • Dollar General holiday-quarter sales miss estimates Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 | 7:16 AM ET

    March 13- Retailer Dollar General Corp on Thursday posted lower-than-expected sales for the holiday quarter, blaming cold weather, tough competition and low consumer confidence. Sales in the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 31 rose 6.8 percent to $4.49 billion.

  • March 13- General Electric Co's North American retail finance business filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of common stock. The business will operate under a new name, Synchrony Financial, GE said in a statement.

  • *Malaysian officials deny Wall Street Journal report. KUALA LUMPUR/ HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, March 13- M alaysian authorities said on Thursday there was no evidence that a jetliner missing for almost six days flew for hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers and continued to transmit technical data.

  • *Copper down 12 pct in year to date, sheds 8 pct since Fri. LONDON, March 13- Copper resumed its decline on Thursday after a brief recovery the previous day, as concerns about the economy of top consumer China intensified following data showing a slowdown in industrial output.